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File #: 1548-2013    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 6/17/2013 In control: Rules & Reference Committee
On agenda: 7/1/2013 Final action: 7/3/2013
Title: To modernize City regulations pertaining to vehicles for hire through the enactment of new Chapters 585, 587, 589, 591, 593 and 594 of the Columbus City Code; and to repeal the existing versions of Chapters 585, 587, 589, 591, 593 and 594 of the Columbus City Code.
Sponsors: Michelle M. Mills
Attachments: 1. Chapter 585 - Vehicle for Hire Board, 2. Chapter 587 - Vehicle for Hire Owner's License, 3. Chapter 589 - Vehicle for Hire Driver's License, 4. Chapter 591 - Taxicabs, 5. Chapter 593 - Livery Vehicles, 6. Chapter 594 - Horse Drawn Carriages
Explanation

BACKGROUND: This ordinance enacts new Columbus City Code Chapters 585, 587, 589, 591, 593 and 594 and repeals the existing versions of those Chapters. Chapters 585-594 constitute the City’s Vehicle for Hire code which regulates for-hire vehicles such as taxicabs, livery vehicles and horse carriages.

In April 2012, the City Council in concert with the Mayor’s administration initiated an effort to modernize the entire Vehicle for Hire code. The code has not been substantially changed since 1988. The primary goals of this effort were to increase public safety, improve the customer experience and support the progress of Columbus’ vehicle for hire, tourism and hospitality industries.

This was a comprehensive effort which proposed changes to both City code and to rules and regulations supplemental to the code. Throughout the course of 2012, changes to rules and regulations were presented to the Vehicle for Hire Board for deliberation, revision and voting. The Vehicle for Hire Board currently consists of representatives from the City, vehicle for hire owners and drivers, the Chamber of Commerce, the airport authority, the convention or visitors bureau and private citizens. The changes to rules and regulations focused on improving standards and included an 8-year age limit for vehicles, prohibiting smoking in vehicles at all times, a dress code for drivers, and restricting license transfers from one vehicle to another based on vehicle condition.

The Vehicle for Hire Board was also consulted regarding the proposed code changes over several months in 2012 and at a special meeting of the Board on January 9, 2013. Furthermore, representatives from City Council, the Department of Public Safety, and the City Attorney’s office met with a committee representing independent taxicab owners on January 16, 2013 and at subsequent times to discuss the changes and listen to concerns. In response to input received at these numerous meetings, compromises were reached and...

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